Today’s title is one of the most common questions I get from my clients, so I thought we would delve deep into what causes dust issues and what some of the fixes are. There are many factors that can create a dusty home.
The first question is always how old is the home and the windows. We find in older homes dust is a much bigger issue than in newer construction. Older homes tend to be leakier and let in more outside air. Again, in an older home, the windows and the seals around them have deteriorated and more dust is allowed into the home.
Next up is the duct system. This requires a look at the air when it is moving through the duct work. In a typical split air conditioning system, the air is traveling somewhere around 350-400 feet per minute, or about ten miles an hour. If the duct connections have become weakened due to age the rapid air movement through the ducts causes a vacuum effect. The fancy term is called The Venturi Effect. You need to remember that the attic is open to the outside via the soffit vents and with leaky duct systems air from the outside and the attic is being pulled into the home, thus creating more dust.
Next up on our learning journey is the fact that all homes are under a slight amount of negative air pressure. Air pressure is measured in a scale called Pascal and a very sensitive instrument called a monometer is used to take the measurements. Humans do not have the sensory ability to detect slight differences in the air pressures however your house does. Back to the attic for a moment, the walls in your typical home are hollow and connected to the attic. The negative air pressure causes air to pull down the interior of the walls from the attic and it escapes wherever it can. These escape points are places like outlets, ceiling fans, smoke detectors and anything else that has penetrated the wall to the interior cavity.
So those are some of the causes of dust, the question then become what are the fixes? The windows can certainly be replaced which will not only reduce dust it will likely save you quite a bit on your electric bill. The duct systems can be re-sealed or in extreme cases they will need to be replaced. If you really want the most dust free atmosphere as possible we can even seal the attic off from the living space by closing the points where the walls are open on the interior to the attic.
Lastly, we can look at some different air filtration options. The typical air conditioner filter is not there to clean the air; rather its job is to help keep the air conditioner clean. There are a myriad of upgraded air filtration options that can be installed that actually clean the air. These include electronic air cleaners, different types of HEPA (high efficiency particle absorbers) filters and ultra violet lighting systems.
Bottom line is if you have a dusty home, suffer from allergies or just want a cleaner environment we can help. It all starts with a Comfort Consultant coming to the home and digging into what the causes are and writing you the correct prescription.
Until next time my friends, have you ever wondered if the dust bunnies are secretly plotting against the cleaning fairies?
House Whisperer out!!